Purification and characterization of four β-expansins (Zea m 1 isoforms) from maize pollen

Lian Chao Li, Patricia A. Bedinger, Carol Volk, A. Daniel Jones, Daniel J. Cosgrove

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95 Scopus citations


Four proteins with wall extension activity on grass cell walls were purified from maize (Zea mays) pollen by conventional column chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. Each is a basic glycoprotein (isoelectric point = 9.1-9.5) of approximately 28 kD and was identified by immunoblot analysis as an isoform of Zea m 1, the major group 1 allergen of maize pollen and member of the β-expansin family. Four distinctive cDNAs for Zea m 1 were identified by cDNA library screening and by GenBank analysis. One pair (GenBank accession nos. AY104999 and AY104125) was much closer in sequence to well-characterized allergens such as Lol p 1 and Phl p 1 from ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and Phleum pretense, whereas a second pair was much more divergent. The N-terminal sequence and mass spectrometry fingerprint of the most abundant isoform (Zea m 1d) matched that predicted for AY197353, whereas N-terminal sequences of the other isoforms matched or nearly matched AY104999 and AY104125. Highly purified Zea m 1d induced extension of a variety of grass walls but not dicot walls. Wall extension activity of Zea m 1d was biphasic with respect to protein concentration, had a broad pH optimum between 5 and 6, required more than 50 μg mL-1 for high activity, and led to cell wall breakage after only approximately 10% extension. These characteristics differ from those of α-expansins. Some of the distinctive properties of Zea m 1 may not be typical of β-expansins as a class but may relate to the specialized function of this β-expansin in pollen function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2085
Number of pages13
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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